Remember Santo Condorelli? The Canadian swimmer who became famous / infamous at the 2016 Rio Olympics for his pre-race routine of exchanging ‘the finger’ with his dad who was a spectator in the stands. Its a tangent but worthy of mentioning… the reason for ‘the finger’ routine… as shared by the commentators during the CBC broadcast is because Condorelli is smaller in stature amongst the behemoths who often are closer in size to football linebackers than what most would think to be the body size of a swimmer. As a result of feeling intimidated when standing shoulder to shoulder with his competition, Condorelli developed his pre-race routine of exchanging ‘the finger’ with his father as a way to state that he has every right to be considered a threat, and he is always a threat to win the event. The exchange was up until the Olympics likely unseen by most because Condorelli would discretely ‘fix’ his goggle nose piece with ‘the finger’ when standing upon the blocks just before the starter announces to the swimmers to ‘take your mark’. With commentators catching on and with social media as it is, I believe Condorelli was called out by FINA officials. Anyhow, this is all besides the point… just an interesting tangent.

Anyhow… back to this post on ‘why Italy’. Not sure if you are aware, most Canadians probably aren’t aware of what happens in the world of swimming outside of the Olympics but Condorelli moved to Italy for 12months in order to be able to be considered an Italian citizen so that he could attempt to qualify as a member of the Italian National Swim Team. Why would he go through all that trouble… including having to take an entire year off from competing on the international level?

Well, maybe this is why… (see image of gold medal bonuses paid out by country).

Seems Italy places alot more value on the efforts of its athletes and demonstrates that respect by paying alot more to its athletes for each and every success they achieve. In Canada, Condorelli would have to win 13 gold medals in order to equal the compensation that Italy pays for just one. Gee… is it really any wonder why he moved to Italy?

Besides, at FINA’s Indoor World Championships the men’s Italian team took bronze in the 4×50 FR relay… wonder what kind of bonus Condorelli received. Oh, Canadians weren’t at Indoor Worlds… reportedly Swimming Natation Canada was ‘saving’ everyone for a different international meet.

Click here to link to FINA’s website for results from the 14th World (Indoor) Swimming Championships, and click on the image below to link to the results page for the men’s 4×50 FR relay.